Arizona Senate acts on innocent-seller legislation, property tax relief
PHOENIX, Feb. 2, 2022—The state’s leading small-business association commended the Arizona Senate for passing Senate Bill 1092 and Senate Bill 1093 this afternoon on bipartisan votes. If the House concurs, small-business owners will have gained a measure of protection against unfair and costly lawsuits, as well as lower property taxes on commercial property.
“SB 1092 would protect retailers and other businesses from unfair product liability lawsuits while maintaining the right of the consumer to sue other parties in a product’s chain of distribution,” said Chad Heinrich, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “The current law in Arizona places the burden of product liability at the doorstep of the retail business owner. This is unfair since most issues with products should be addressed through the manufacturer of the product, not the store owner who sold the product. With a few common-sense exceptions, SB 1092 would protect sellers of a product from the unfair financial burden of expensive attorney’s fees and the time required for litigation—simply to prove their lack of liability.”
Property Tax Relief Measure Also Passes
Heinrich also praised senators for passage of Senate Bill 1093, which he said addresses a fundamental issue of fairness in our property tax system. “A large majority of NFIB-member, small-business-owners either rent or own the buildings they operate their businesses from, so any relief they could get would positively affect solvency, expansion, and hiring decisions.”
According to legislative analysis, HB 1093 “Reduces the percentage of assessed valuation of class 1 property over two years to 15 percent in calendar year (CY) 2027 and sets the state equalization assistance property tax rate (SETR) for TYs 2022 through 2027.”
The assessed valuation rate is currently 18%. The move down to 15% has been a priority of the Arizona business community since the 1990s when it was at 25%. In his testimony, Heinrich said that after federal income taxes, property taxes were the most pressing problem for small-business owners. He also provides information on the percentage of NFIB-member, small-business owners who rent or own the businesses they operate from.
Heinrich urged the Arizona House to pass SB 1092 and SB 1093 on to Gov. Doug Ducey with all due dispatch. “These measures would be a nice follow up to the COVID liability protections the Legislature passed, and, added to historic legislation reducing taxes and regulatory burdens, would further stamp Arizona as an unmistakably pro-small-business state.”
Related Innocent-Seller Information
- Jan. 23, 2022—NFIB-Backed Innocent Seller Bill Advances in Senate
- Feb. 7, 2020—Innocent Seller Bill Would Right an Injustice
Related Property Tax Information
- Jan. 28, 2022—NFIB Testifies in Favor of Lowering Assessment Ratio on Commercial Property to 15 Percent
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Keep up with the latest on Arizona small business news at www.nfib.com/arizona or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_AZ
For 78 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.